Stipa tenuissima

Feather grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial


Attractive seed-heads, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Stipa tenuissima

Plant details

Stipa tenuissima is a neat, compact, perennial grass, bearing closely packed, stiff, thread-like stems forming a strongly horizontal shape. In summer, masses of elegant pale feathery seed-heads are held above the foliage. These can be cut and dried when first opened for use in winter arrangements indoors. Alternatively they make a useful winter food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.

Grow Stipa tenuissima in well-drained soil in full sun. It works well in a mixed borfer among herbaceous plants and other grasses. To propagate, divide plants from mid-spring to early summer.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Stipa

Species: tenuissima

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 60cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: April to June

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